An Enugu Magistrate Court has remanded Igwe Herbert Ukuta, the traditional ruler of Igga community, and four others in prison for their alleged involvement in the murder of two policemen and affiliation with a terrorist group. The monarch, who had been detained for over a month, was arraigned alongside Festus Okonkwa, Ofadile Titus Henry, Sunday Ugwu, and Obinna Ayogu.

The defendants face serious accusations, including conspiracy, membership in the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its security wing, Eastern Security Network (ESN), and the murder of five individuals. These charges, brought by the Enugu State Police Command, cite violations of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022 and the Criminal Code Cap C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

The police allege that the group conspired to commit felonies, including murder and belonging to a terrorist organization. Specific charges detail how the defendants unlawfully killed Police Inspector Nwoga Cornellus, Police Constable Ikowa Anthony, and three others by shooting them.

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The charges also include recruitment into the IPOB/ESN and failing to report the group’s activities to law enforcement. The police described the heinous acts committed by the accused, emphasizing the gravity of their alleged crimes.

Given the nature of the charges, the magistrate declared the court lacked jurisdiction to handle the case, leading to the defendants’ remand at the Enugu Maximum Correctional Centre. The case highlights the ongoing tensions and violence linked to separatist movements in Nigeria.

As the legal process unfolds, the community awaits justice for the fallen policemen and other victims. The trial is expected to shed light on the circumstances surrounding these tragic events and the extent of the defendants’ involvement.

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